Medications Guide for Type-II Diabetes

Medications Guide for Type-II Diabetes

Type-II diabetes is a common condition that affects most often middle-aged and older people. You are more likely to have the condition if you are age 45 or older, are overweight or obese, and have a family history of diabetes.  Type-II diabetes is characterized by a high concentration of glucose in the blood. It is particularly caused by a reduced production of insulin and reduced capacity to use the insulin effectively. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that has a broad role. It includes the promotion of the uptake of the glucose from the blood into fat cells, muscle cells, and liver. Type-II diabetes is related to:

  • High cholesterol levels
  • High blood pressure
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Obesity

Type-II Diabetes Medications

1. Metformin

Metformin is considered the primary treatment in the management of type-II diabetes because of its effectiveness and relatively good safety profile. This medicine helps:

  • Reduce the absorption of glucose
  • Reduce the production of glucose in the liver
  • Increase glucose use in different tissues in the body

Metformin does not cause insulin release and so does not cause hypoglycemia. Moreover, this medicine does not cause weight gain, which is a possible side effect of other antidiabetic drugs. The most common side effects of this drug may include:

  • Nausea,
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain

2. Sulphonylurea

Sulphonylurea works by increasing the amount of insulin in the body by two different mechanisms:

  • Increase insulin secretion
  • Decrease clearance of insulin by the liver


3. Gliptins 

  • Saxagliptin
  • Alogliptin
  • Linagliptin
  • Sitagliptin

These belong to a class of medications called dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors. DDP-4 increases the level of two hormones GIP and GLP-1. This increases insulin production and release by the pancreas and thus improves the use of glucose in the body. Moreover, GLP-1 lessens the secretion of glucagon and decreases the production of glucose in the liver. It also improves the total of glucose that is present in the blood.

Gliptins can be used on their own for type-II diabetes patients for whom Metformin is not recommended.

4. SGLT-2 Inhibitors

  • Ertugliflozin
  • Canagliflozin 
  • Dapagliflozin 
  • Empagliflozin 

SGLT-2 inhibitors have a rare mechanism of action where it increases the removal of glucose from the body in the urine. It is particularly by stopping the reabsorption of sugars by kidneys.  This type of medicine can be used on its own or along with another type-II diabetes medicine.

5. Pioglitazone

Pioglitazone is allowed as a monotherapy treatment in patients for whom Metformin is not given or as part of dual therapy for type-II diabetes. This medicine improves insulin sensitivity which increases glucose uptake in the body. It also lessens the production of this sugar in the liver.

Type-II Diabetes Management

One of the most important factors to treat and prevent type-II diabetes is weight loss management through dietary changes and exercise. In some cases, type-II diabetes can be reversed, even though there is limited information available that supports long-term maintenance of weight loss about the management of sugars in the body.  You can ask your doctor what is the appropriate lifestyle changes you can follow to manage your condition.

Leave a Reply